When the news arrived that Reiss were launching a pair of fragrances, I think the majority of us cynical beauty bloggers figured they’d be typical, crowd-pleasing, easy-on-the-nose scents that would sell by the bucket and leave no real mark on the complex world that is fragrance. However, I think both fragrances have surprised everyone and left us all acknowledging how risky yet satisfying the two new fragrance creations are.
Strictly speaking, both fragrances are unisex, although there is an understanding that Black Oudh is for me, whereas Grey Flower is for women. However, at the press event, men left with samples of Grey Flower and women left with Black Oudh, so I really think it’s a personal choice and I like the fact that the packaging for both (check out Black Oudh here – a silver companion to the Gold Grey Flower) has remained quite neutral.
I’m by no means a fragrance expert, and to be honest I haven’t heard of half of the notes included in Grey Flower, but that’s another aspect of these fragrance designs that I really like! In my limited experience of scent, there are cliched, ‘safe’ notes that almost always ensure a winning combination for a launch; not that I’m in any way snobby about such things, in fact I’m probably the target market with my keenness for florals, sweets and vanilla, but you have to give credit to Azzi Glasser (who co-created both these scents with Reiss) who defiantly refused to go the commercial route.
Note include Armoise, pimento berry, sequoia wood, jasmine noir, cocoa leaf, amber crystals and patchouli. On first spray you’re immediately hit with the peppery pimento, but that softens with the cocoa leaf and jasmine. Once it settles, the musky amber dominates making this quite a woody scent, but not too masculine or harsh; there’s still an element of femininity maintained which I’m guessing is thanks to the jasmine and cocoa leaf in the heart notes. Like this scent or not, one thing is for sure; this is a complex and fascinating fragrance that makes you stop and think. If you’re someone who likes to take their scent further than ‘nice-smelling’ then I recommend checking this out. Available now from Reiss, Grey Flower is £49 for 100ml.